What If You Only Drank Energy Drinks


Whether it’s to fuel your late night study session, or trying to stay alert on the job energy drinks are very popular with 76% o young adults consuming them, but what would happen if you ONLY drank energy drinks?



One sip and the feel-good effect is almost immediate. When the sugar molecules hit your taste buds, it triggers your brain to release dopamine, the hormone responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being.

This makes sense, considering the sugar content of ONE can ranges from two teaspoons to a whopping 14 teaspoons per serving depending on the brand.
Within 10 minutes, both your heart rate and blood pressure increase in response to adrenaline release, caused by the introduction of caffeine into your body.

How much caffeine depends on the brand and ranges anywhere from 6 mg to as high as 242 mg per serving. To compare, a serving of brewed coffee contains 95 to 165 mg of caffeine, brewed black tea contains 25 to 38 mg, and a bottle of Coke contains 34 mg of caffeine.

But unlike soda, coffee and tea, energy drinks add in guarana extract. The guarana plant which is native to South America, produces seeds which are about the same size as a coffee bean, but yields twice the caffeine content. Spread out over the course of a day 400mg of caffeine appears to be safe, but having more than 200mg in a single sitting can lead to caffeine intoxication.



In 2011, it is estimated that nearly 20,000 visits to the emergency room in the United States are directly related to the effects of energy drink consumption. Most of these visits involved those between the ages of 18 to 25, and the second largest age group being 26 to 39 years old. An observational study reviewed 7 years of data from calls to Australian poison information centre related to energy drink toxicity. Of the 297 calls analyzed the most common symptoms of caffeine toxicity included palpitations, agitation, tremor and gastrointestinal upset.

Twenty one cases had signs of serious cardiac or neurological toxicity, including hallucinations, seizures, arrhythmias or cardiac ischaemia, and at least 128 subjects required hospitalisation. So if you started subbing your 8 glasses of water for equivalent amounts of energy drinks, the constant increases in heart rate and blood pressure might lead to an increased risk of developing a bunch of cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension or high blood pressure.
You could also become dehydrated. Though there is there is debate about whether caffeinated drinks are dehydrating, researchers have found that urine volume was increased by caffeinated beverages, but only when they exceeded 360 mg.



A separate study also found that though energy drinks cause you to urinate significantly more than non caffeinated beverages, they were no more a diuretic than coffee. However, a cup of black coffee has less than 5 calories, but the high sugar content of energy drinks means a calorie count of about 850 calories in 8 cups of Red Bull.

This increase your risk for obesity and developing Type 2 diabetes. But some of the risks are unpredictable, such as a 26 year old man who drank at least two cans of energy drinks daily for a decade. With no prior significant health issues, he had a seizure and fell into a three day coma.
Doctors ultimately attributed this to chronic sleep deprivation and over-consumption of 46 caffeine. Energy drink consumption has even been linked to insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns.
It is reported that 45% of American military personnel consume one can daily while on active duty, and 14% drink three or more cans daily.



Interestingly enough, those who drank three or more cans were more likely to fall asleep on duty, compared to those who only drank one can.
These “three plus” drinkers also reported fewer overall hours of sleep, and sleep disruption even after their duty had ended.

Overall, energy drinks are relatively safe for infrequent consumption, but you may not want to drink them on a regular basis.

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